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Winnipeg Jets 2013 Draft Targets: Round 1

Arctic Ice Hockey lists five possible targets for Kevin Cheveldayoff with the Winnipeg Jets' first round pick.

Richard Wolowicz

Baring a trade, the Winnipeg Jets will be selecting a player with the thirteenth selection of the 2013 NHL Draft. Who they will draft is a major question mark and the answer will depend on who is picked from slots one through twelve.

With that being said, we do have an idea of who will be on the board, so let's take a look at some of the top candidates.

Who's name will Kevin Cheveldayoff call on June 30th?

LD Nikita Zadorov 4/16/1995 6'4 225 London Knights

Zadorov is a big, nasty blue-liner. His combination of NHL size and a vicious mean streak is something that many teams will likely covet. There is very little consensus on the defenders in this draft, so he may well be gone by the time the Jets get on the clock, but he will likely give Kevin Cheveldayoff pause if he is there.

Zadorov logged big shutdown minutes for a very good CHL team this season, but his offensive game hasn't really rounded out. He is also still kind of a Russian. Those two factors may ding his draft stock a little.

Is he a fit for the Jets?

The thought of a Nikita Zadorov - Jacob Trouba defensive pairing is very appealing and would be outright nasty to play against, but the Russian factor and lack of offense production could hurt him with Cheveldayoff. It may also be hard for Chevy to justify taking a defender in back to back seasons. Only time will tell.

F Max Domi 3/2/1995 5'9 185 London Knights

Being the son of a former Jets' enforcer has nothing to do with Max Domi's viability at the thirteenth pick. Domi was one of the top scorers of this draft class. If he was 6'1, he'd easily be a top 10 pick. Unfortunately, he is only 5'9" and his draft stock has suffered because of it. Despite his lack of size, Domi doesn't play small. The kid is built like a fire hydrant. His compact frame allows him to play a solid power game and battle for the puck in dirty areas.

Domi's frame won't be his only obstacle moving forward. It should also be noted that Domi has both Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease. Neither of these afflictions have slowed him down to date, but a pro schedule allows for less down time. Teams that are concerned by Domi's size and / or medical issues may pass, but his production is a definite head-turner.

Is he a fit for the Jets?

Perhaps. If Domi's transition to pro hockey goes smoothly, his creativity and offensive punch would be welcome additions to the Jets. Domi's offensive upside is phenomenal. That said, I'd be surprised if Kevin Cheveldayoff picked a player Domi's size. Domi may be a better fit for one of the teams that have multiple first round picks.


Anthony Mantha




Val - D'or

Anthony Mantha is a huge dude and he scored 50 goals in his draft year. Some team will covet him early in the draft and it may be the Jets. Mantha is a big-bodied right winger who absolutely sniped his way through the season. Long term he could look really nice flying down the wing opposite Evander Kane, but Mantha isn't the most polished prospect. It may take him some time to round out his two-way game and find a home in the NHL.

Another note on Mantha, Anthony is also one of the oldest draft-eligible players that is being discussed as a first round pick. There is some debate about whether his combination of size and the extra year of development have artificially inflated his numbers relative to his peers. Will that hurt his draft stock? Probably not.

Is he a fit for the Jets?

Anthony Mantha seems to combine a number of elements that Cheveldayoff covets. His size and skill are both very desirable. The fact that he plays right wing is a plus too as it fills an organizational need. I wouldn't be at all shocked to see Anthony Mantha's name called by Kevin Cheveldayoff on draft day.


Bo Horvat




London Knights

Bo Horvat's draft stock rocketed late in the year. He was always on the radar as a top pick, but a really strong playoff - Horvat was voted MVP of the CHL playoffs - has lifted him into the fringe of the top 10. Horvat is a skilled player, but he is noted for his hard work and ability to play in all situations. His game also has a nice physical element.

Horvat's scoring numbers are a little less impressive than those of the other players on this list, but he did manage to record more that a point per game in the CHL post season. It is possible that a team will view him as a safer pick and forgo some of the offensive upside that might be available elsewhere.

Is he a fit for the Jets?

Apart from being a billion feet tall, Bo Horvat seems to have pretty much everything that Chevy looks for in a player. He works hard, he pays attention to detail and he can play in all situations. His offensive upside may be a bit of a question mark, but a relatively safe pick wouldn't be a bad idea for a team with a prospect pool as shallow as the Jets.


Alexander Wennberg





Alexander Wennberg is a very interesting prospect. Wennberg spent most of this past season playing - quite well - against grown men with Djurgården of Allsvenskan. Wennberg recorded 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points in the men's league. His 0.70 points per game weren't far behind the 0.87 that 2012 1st round pick Filip Forsberg posted.

Note: Forsberg recorded 0.40 points per game in Allsvenskan in his pre-draft season.

Back to Wennberg, he is a hard-working forward who can reportedly play all three forward positions. He is also a notably strong skater. He is fast, elusive and his strong base allows him to play a solid power game. His defensive awareness has also received a lot of attention. Wennberg really sounds a lot like a Euro version of Horvat.

Is he a fit for the Jets?

If Kevin Cheveldayoff is ready to finally draft his first European, Wennberg would be a great fit. He brings all the elements that Chevy looks for in a player. He can play all three forward positions and he is responsible in his own end. Wennberg was also one of the leanest players at the NHL Scouting Combine, so he is obviously dedicated to fitness. This guy could be a Chevy guy.

What do you think?

Baring a situation where a top 10 pick falls, or a trade, who do you see as the most likely targets for Chevy? Did I miss somebody? If so, name the player and drop some logic bombs in the comment section.